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The AURORA Study: a longitudinal, multimodal library of brain biology and function after traumatic stress exposure.

  • Author(s): McLean, Samuel A;
  • Ressler, Kerry;
  • Koenen, Karestan Chase;
  • Neylan, Thomas;
  • Germine, Laura;
  • Jovanovic, Tanja;
  • Clifford, Gari D;
  • Zeng, Donglin;
  • An, Xinming;
  • Linnstaedt, Sarah;
  • Beaudoin, Francesca;
  • House, Stacey;
  • Bollen, Kenneth A;
  • Musey, Paul;
  • Hendry, Phyllis;
  • Jones, Christopher W;
  • Lewandowski, Christopher;
  • Swor, Robert;
  • Datner, Elizabeth;
  • Mohiuddin, Kamran;
  • Stevens, Jennifer S;
  • Storrow, Alan;
  • Kurz, Michael Christopher;
  • McGrath, Meghan E;
  • Fermann, Gregory J;
  • Hudak, Lauren A;
  • Gentile, Nina;
  • Chang, Anna Marie;
  • Peak, David A;
  • Pascual, Jose L;
  • Seamon, Mark J;
  • Sergot, Paulina;
  • Peacock, W Frank;
  • Diercks, Deborah;
  • Sanchez, Leon D;
  • Rathlev, Niels;
  • Domeier, Robert;
  • Haran, John Patrick;
  • Pearson, Claire;
  • Murty, Vishnu P;
  • Insel, Thomas R;
  • Dagum, Paul;
  • Onnela, Jukka-Pekka;
  • Bruce, Steven E;
  • Gaynes, Bradley N;
  • Joormann, Jutta;
  • Miller, Mark W;
  • Pietrzak, Robert H;
  • Buysse, Daniel J;
  • Pizzagalli, Diego A;
  • Rauch, Scott L;
  • Harte, Steven E;
  • Young, Larry J;
  • Barch, Deanna M;
  • Lebois, Lauren AM;
  • van Rooij, Sanne JH;
  • Luna, Beatriz;
  • Smoller, Jordan W;
  • Dougherty, Robert F;
  • Pace, Thaddeus WW;
  • Binder, Elisabeth;
  • Sheridan, John F;
  • Elliott, James M;
  • Basu, Archana;
  • Fromer, Menachem;
  • Parlikar, Tushar;
  • Zaslavsky, Alan M;
  • Kessler, Ronald
  • et al.

Adverse posttraumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) are common among civilian trauma survivors and military veterans. These APNS, as traditionally classified, include posttraumatic stress, postconcussion syndrome, depression, and regional or widespread pain. Traditional classifications have come to hamper scientific progress because they artificially fragment APNS into siloed, syndromic diagnoses unmoored to discrete components of brain functioning and studied in isolation. These limitations in classification and ontology slow the discovery of pathophysiologic mechanisms, biobehavioral markers, risk prediction tools, and preventive/treatment interventions. Progress in overcoming these limitations has been challenging because such progress would require studies that both evaluate a broad spectrum of posttraumatic sequelae (to overcome fragmentation) and also perform in-depth biobehavioral evaluation (to index sequelae to domains of brain function). This article summarizes the methods of the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA (AURORA) Study. AURORA conducts a large-scale (n = 5000 target sample) in-depth assessment of APNS development using a state-of-the-art battery of self-report, neurocognitive, physiologic, digital phenotyping, psychophysical, neuroimaging, and genomic assessments, beginning in the early aftermath of trauma and continuing for 1 year. The goals of AURORA are to achieve improved phenotypes, prediction tools, and understanding of molecular mechanisms to inform the future development and testing of preventive and treatment interventions.

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